Everything happens for a reason...
Two years ago I became a single parent. After being in a seventeen-year relationship I had never experienced life on my own. I soon recognised it was time to stand on my own two feet, adapt and welcome change.
As the months passed and we settled into our new routine as a family of three I began to question whether there was anyone out there that would ever accept my little family... was there anyone out there that would love me enough to share the sleepless nights, hold my hand during the bad days and laugh with me on the good..?
I keep it no secret that raising a child with complex needs is difficult, why would anyone choose that?
There were nights I'd let myself get into a state of sleep-deprived despair convincing myself my life was going to be spent on my own. I managed to talk myself out of ever meeting someone that would go on this unpredictable journey with me... and it was a lonely place to be.
After living through a global pandemic isolated within our four walls life took its toll on me. After reaching crisis I was recommended trauma therapy. I dealt with my demons, changed my mindset, found my identity and got myself a job... I became an independent woman my daughter could look up to...
Then, I met Johnny...
This complete stranger walked into my life and brought with him a whole new outlook on life...
I would spend nights telling him about Bobby and Dottie, the good the bad and the ugly. I wanted him to know what he was potentially letting himself in for. In the early days the more I disclosed the less I expected to hear from him... but that wasn't the case. He wasn't phased by the sleepless nights, the scruffy mum bun, the constant need for routine.
He accepted Bobby and Dottie with no hesitation and more importantly they accepted him.
He doesn't look at Bobby and see autism. He looks at Bobby and sees a child. A child that wants to play. He has made so much effort to learn sign language, picture exchange and routine. He keeps me company in the early hours, he watches Dumbo on repeat and he plays Barbie’s with no complaint.
He doesn’t recognise it but he brings so much joy to our house the minute he walks in. He's loud, playful and a complete breath of fresh air. The kids get excited when they know he's coming. He spends time entertaining them so I can go for a run, have a shower or cook tea. I’ve got into the habit of constantly thanking him and he's got into the habit of constantly reminding me we are a team.
He shares the life with me I'd once deemed un-sharable. He turns my bad days around and he enhances the good.
He's helped me regain my confidence, he's shown me endless amounts of support and he's shown me a love I've never experienced before.
I'm a firm believer in "everything happens for a reason" our paths were always going to cross, just neither of us knew it, nor did we expect it. I am thankful for finding someone so accepting, so resilient and so able to finally make me believe me and my children are worthy.
Abby Lewis, Mum and Parent Carer from Maske.
A big thank you to Abby for sharing her experiences with us, its wonderful to hear how Abby's confidence has grown, she has found employment and a life partner and we wish Abby and Johnny the very best for their exciting future ahead.
If you are looking after a loved one and interested in finding out what support, information, advice and guidance is available to you follow the link below: